Category Archives: Food

All the cake

The first week of February is cake week in our house. Both the kids birthdays are this week and they each have their own opinions on cake. It makes for quite a lot of cake. Half of the Wee Man’s ended up in the freezer as we hadn’t got through it before I made Hobbity-boo’s cake for her party on Saturday. Luckily half of that one went home with party guests so we are not completely overwhelmed with cake.

Both cakes have a chocolate base – I’ve used this recipe several times before and although it takes much longer to bake than the recipe says it comes out lovely and moist. The recipe is from Edmonds Cookbook (mine is the edition printed in 1999). They are coated with chocolate buttercream before fondant.

Wee Man asked for an orange tractor cake. He is obsessed with trucks and things at the moment. I used this tutorial as inspiration and started with a square cake. There are parts where the fondant is a bit thin (I was worried about running out of black) but the kids agreed that it looked like a tractor. The back wheels are donuts and the front small circles of cake.

Orange tractor cake for a little boy turning 3 - little grey hedgehog

For the third year in a row Hobbity-boo has asked for a ladybird cake (though she tells me that next year she wants a rainbow). This year it is purple and black and we used a number of different cutters to make leaves and flowers for around the base (added advantage of hiding any wobbly bits). The antenna are fondant wrapped around cut down straws. I’m happier with the fondant on this, I had plenty so wasn’t trying to spread it so thin.

Ladybird for a 5 year old - little grey hedgehog


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Filed under Food, Hobbit, Wee Man

Birthday Cakes

The kids birthdays are only a few days apart so we have a bit of a birthday week going on at this time of the year.

(Note: this post is mostly a reference post for me for future cakes)

I consulted with my newly 4 year old about cakes for her and her brother and we decided that she wanted a ladybird (not a ladybug) like she had last year but this time it had to be pink with lots of spots. The spots later got upgraded to being purple in particular and there had to be a sticking out tongue. I have two hemisphere cake pans that I bought for last year’s efforts and made a 1.5 x banana cake to fill the two of them. I skipped the mashing bananas step and my Kitchen Aid mixed them in quite thoroughly anyway. The small cake was cut and then stuck to the larger with vanilla butter-cream which was spread over the rest of the cake too. I used store bought black and fuchsia fondant icing for the body and small amounts of white fondant that I coloured with gel colourings for the facial features and spots. I had a bit of trouble with getting the black icing smooth especially on the face as it ended up very thin in parts but she was not bothered by it’s wrinkles and was pretty excited by her cake.

Ladybird Cake

Wee Man didn’t have much to say about his thoughts (he’s still not much for talking) but Hobbit and I decided on chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a rocket on top. Wee Man told us that rockets fly to the moon so we had to have a moon too. I used the large hemisphere cake tin to make the cake (a single recipe of chocolate cake) and then covered it in chocolate butter-cream. I again used white fondant that I coloured with gels to make the decorations. The rocket and moon are from cookie cutters (they came in a set with an astronaut) and the stars are from little icing cutters. He was pretty excited about the rocket flying in the sky to the moon and very much enjoyed having Happy Birthday sung to him.

Rocket Cake

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Filed under Food, Hobbit, Kids, Wee Man

Tis the season …

to make Christmas cake. Made my Christmas cake on Sunday – used the same recipe as last time and apart from struggling to stir the full mix as I should have used a bigger bowl it all went well. It’s wrapped in many layers of foil and cling film and hiding in the cupboard til Christmas (if I remember it’ll get extra doses of Brandy but I forgot last year and it didn’t seem to matter).

Christmas Cards

I’ve also been making Christmas cards whilst Hobbit has been scribbling with crayons and have enough made now to cover this Christmas. I think I try out a new technique most years – last year it was lots of embossing, this year it’s colouring in stamped images. I bought a couple of magazines a month or two ago with Christmas stamps as the free gift and have used those in my cards this year.

Flower cards

I’ve also started working on some images for birthday/baby/generic cards for the first few months of next year so that I don’t have to think about them with a newborn in the house. The drawings are not really my own (though the colouring is) – they come from various how to draw websites (I used similar for making glass ornaments last Christmas). It’s fun colouring them in – clearly I should look into some adult colouring in books. Some will get stamped sayings added to the image but some will stay plain. I’ve also some more specific cards to make – new baby and a special birthday – but I hope these will come in handy.


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Filed under Food, Papercraft

Autumnal feelings

Every time I look out the window at the moment the trees seem to have more and more yellow leaves. The weather has changed and the nights are closing in. It’s definitely turned into autumn.

Given that it’s suddenly autumn I no longer feel ridiculous for wanting to make soup and casseroles all the time. Tonight’s dinner was butternut squash soup (not sure where the recipe came from originally) – nice and thick and warm. With it we had Rosemary and Onion Bread with Blue Cheese Topping. I’ve made this before and it was just the right thing for dunking in the soup. And Hobbit even ate some soup!

Leftovers for lunch tomorrow 🙂Rosemary Onion BreadCraft wise the blanket is making steady progress and I’ve sewn the third of four t-shirts. The windows are clean and our wardrobe is sorted out. Altogether the two wardrobes had three bins worth of cardboard boxes in them – not entirely sure why I though I needed to save so many. I’ve also cleaned off a couple of bits of wall – one where the stroller lives and the other behind the pillows on our bed. There’s a few more things on the list but I pleased to be making progress.

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Bits and bobs

  1. I finished the cowl, blocked it but haven’t gotten good photos
  2. I knit a short sleeved cardigan for the hobbit, again no photos
  3. I’ve made 4 cards for various occasions, yet again there are no photos
  4. Went to the park and saw a frog, a rabbit, a swan, ducks, seagulls, pigeons, dogs, the remnants of a rabbit, and lots of daffodils
  5. Been rained on and blessed with sunshine
  6. Seen some lovely sunsets
  7. Been woken up at the wrong time of day
  8. Started a baby blanket for a baby due in May
  9. Baked cheese muffins
  10. Made poppyseed bread again (still yummy)
  11. Started sewing a dress for hobbit – successfully made buttonbands (minus the buttonholes), a collar and set in the sleeves
  12. Finished the Wheel of Time series – a bit sad there will be no more
  13. Have completely ignored knitting on my Ivy League Vest
  14. Acquired wool for a birthday present and a couple of balls of sock yarn at the Hobbycraft sale
  15. Did not lose the hobbit when she kept wandering off at storytime
  16. We are all still alive 🙂

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Filed under Baby, Books, Craft, Food, Health, Knitting and Crochet, Papercraft, Photos, Ramble, Sewing, Walks

What I’ve been up to…

Projects of the week

I’ve been quietly working away on a number of things in the last 10 days, none of which are the Ivy League Vest. I wound the skein of sock yarn from the yarn fest (mostly because I want to see what it’d look like), I think I like it even more now. I’ve been spinning some more. I wound off the 10g of blue merino that I’d spun and the then spun some rainbow tussah silk sliver. It’s only ten grams worth and spun up really fast. I haven’t plied it yet (will be a chain-ply to preserve the colour sequence) and have no idea what I’m going to do with it. I’m now spinning up some shetland/silk I bought 2 and a half  years ago at Woolfest. It’s also spinning up nice and fast, it’s very airy roving and super easy to draft.

My second sock is in progress, part way up the leg and I’ve finished off the wee stranded camera cosy. The bright orange is the yarn I bought from The Yarn Yard at the yarn festival, it’s in the process of becoming a hat and is lovely to work with.

I’ve also been baking a bit more lately, the picture is of chive and cheese scones I made last week but I’ve also been busy making various kinds of muffins, a loaf of rye bread (mostly in the freezer for later soup dunking) and a banana cake to use up bananas from the freezer.

Another snow shower

The weather has been rather off putting for outside adventures (I wish it would make up it’s mind as it’s snowing in the above picture and an hour later as I write this it’s brilliantly sunny!) and we’ve been sticking close to home getting some spring cleaning done. I’ve started to use Remember the Milk to keep track of to-do lists and when I’ve done various bits of housework that don’t need doing every week but do need doing more often than I remember on my own. My phone is very much not smart and so I’ve just been using the website but it seems to be working out well so far.

Time to get dinner in the oven now.

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Filed under Craft, Food, Home, Knitting and Crochet, Spinning

A little hobbit …

A little hobbit had a very important birthday this week.

There were rainbows involved, including one in the sky (well not quite on her birthday). A large amount of food colouring was used. A teeny tiny bit of cake was consumed by the birthday girl. She was not particularly impressed. I’m not entirely sure she thought it was food.

A hobbity birthday

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Filed under Baby, Food